(Closed) Engagement rings–make sure it is Conflict free

posted 11 years ago in Rings
Post # 32
Member
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

If you want to end the horrible conditions that these miners are in, make diamond mining less profitable than cocaine smuggling.  By obsessing over the perfect diamond and buying into the WIC concept of a "diamond engagement ring" vice an "engagement ring" you are only furthering the trade.  Your e-ring doesn’t need a diamond in it.  But that’s what we buy into.  Your e-ring doesn’t have to have a 3ct. flawless emerald cut stone, but still we obsess. Change attitudes to change the world.  If you are passionate about the topic I would recommend avoiding diamonds altogether.  They devalue as demand decreases!  This gives less money to the overlords, who are then less able to opress the people who mine the diamonds.  It all trickles down.

Post # 33
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I thought you were going somewhere else completely with that post when you started with, "make diamond mining less profitable than cocaine smuggling…"

Post # 34
Member
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

Well there is always the option to snort more cocaine, but somehow I don’t see that bettering the world.  It was more a comparison of two illegal trades which can be irradicated if only the end user would refrain from purchase. 

Post # 35
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Lol, yeah, I was hoping the rest of the post would enlighten us on how crack is also the answer to solving world hunger, but alas…  ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 36
Member
2143 posts
Buzzing bee

My wedding band came from billiantearth.com, not because I was trying to get a conflict free diamond, but just because they had what I was looking for. Yes, the price did seem to be a bit more than a ring of this type should cost, but then i later saw an ad in the newspaper for a ring that looked exactly the same, but was 18k white gold (mine is platinum) for double the price! The only thing I can think of is that the diamonds were better quailty. Regardless, I do reccommend brilliantearth.com if you truely want a conflict-free, Canadian diamond. They offer a 30 day return policy, but the quality really is quite good and they have good customer service.

 

That said, I saw in an article on The Knot that Tiffany’s only deals with conflict free suppliers, SUPPOSEDLY, and they will only buy from Kimberly sellers. They have a lot of information on their website about it http://www.tiffany.com/sustainability/default.aspx It seems like they do actively try to help. I only looked at Tiffany’s since that is where the hubby got my e-ring. I had NO IDEA things like this existed before I found the brilliantearth website even

Post # 37
Member
3315 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I dealt with this issue by not having an engagement ring at all.  Our wedding rings were plain gold bands–used ones from the 1930s, so there was not even the mining or energy cost of making a new ring.  We ended up just as married, and I love our rings!

And Pavillionette, I’m still laughing over your conclusion that, “aside from the possibility that the scientists were duking it out in the laboratory, it is as conflict-free as any.”  As my wife just said, “No lab is conflict-free,” but the conflict is a whole lot less lethal than that involved with mined diamonds.

Post # 38
Member
401 posts
Helper bee

My Fiance was very interested in this as well when he was shopping after watching this movie, too. However, he was told teh same thing that bellenga mentioned.  I trust our jeweler and truly hope that it is a conflict free diamond.

Post # 39
Member
47 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I didn’t want an engagement ring at all for these very reasons. I didn’t want to wear something that to me (obviously opinions vary wildly) would represent oppression, death, and violence. 

Obviously, my views on this are quite extreme and I have no problem with heirloom or lab grown stones, but I also just don’t really like jewelry that much.  With those two things combined, it just didn’t make sense for us to spend a ton (or any) money on something that I didn’t want.

We are doing wedding rings, though, and I’m doing a ton of research on how to do that ethically.  For example, tungston is out for us, as it is currently funding a lot of the conflict in Congo (although- I haven’t exactly given up my laptop or my digital camera, which both probably have conflict minerals in them, so I’m certainly not perfect). 

For me, I just want to make sure that anything that is supposed to be a symbol of our love and unity is untainted by violence and oppression.  Is that possible?  I don’t know. Anyone have ideas?

Post # 40
Member
673 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

It’s hard to know if jewelers even know for sure. Many buy their diamonds from Switzerland and market it as a “Swiss Diamond”- but the problem is there are no diamonds in Switzerland! Other countries will sell to a dealer, and when the dealer sells to a larger company, he doesn’t have to report where he got it from. 

To avoid any uncertainty, my fiance and I researched and found out about moissanite. It’s a gemstone that was originally found in a meteor. After years of research, they were able to recreate growing it in a lab. It is second in hardness only to a diamond, at a 9.5 on the scale. It’s scratch resistant, and contains twice the facets of a diamond, so it’s very sparkly. When the light hits it, it fires up with tons of colors! It will never cloud, discolor, or be damaged. The craziest part is that it costs a fraction of the price of a diamond. We were able to get a flawless 1 carat stone in a palladium setting for 850 dollars! (Which is great for two poor college students.) I’ve seen 2 carats listed for 1300-1500!  I get compliments on mine all the time. I know, it sounds too good to be true. 

Are there any other moissanite girls out there? I just love mine- the best part is I know exactly where it came from.

Post # 41
Member
661 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

One-I love my moissanite!!  I’ll never buy diamonds.  A life is not worth it.

Two-it’s true that there is no lab free of conflict!  hahaha!  The lab I work in is like high school sometimes.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 42
Member
282 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

But Lab created diamonds are all chemically made…

Carbon, Sulphur, Iron, Calcium, Cobalt, Nickle, Yttrium, Zirconium, Gadolinium, Hafnium……….

These ingredients are used and are heater well over 4,000 degrees to create a lab created diamond.

 

 

Post # 43
Member
1726 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

*sigh…* I was wondering when this argument would resurface. Whoever compared the “conflict-free” label to an “organic” label is spot-on — it is all about marketing. Truly, if you are buying diamonds from a professional business in this country, you have nothing to worry about. Over 99% of the world’s supply of diamonds do not originate from sources of conflict. Furthermore, the diamond industry is vital in supporting the lives of millions of people in countries all over the world, and even the global fight against HIV/AIDS is directly sustained by diamond revenue.

I’m not trying to rag on anyone who is just erring on the side of caution in compassionately being concerned about this issue, but I just want to bring to light that this is a seriously over-hyped media mess about a problem that does not exist today in the way that consumers are led to believe.

Post # 44
Member
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@littlemissmango I’m not so sure it’s overhyped. Yes, it was a much bigger problem in the 90’s, but an Amnesty International report (granted from 3 years ago) conducted a survey among US retailers that concluded “a large proportion of the diamond industry was still responding to the issue with a public relations campaign to play down the issue and boost consumer confidence.” The report also suggests that there are fewer conflict diamonds on the market largely because the wars in Sierra Leone and Angola have ended– not just because transparency processes have greatly improved.

But I do sort of agree about hype. Conflict diamonds certainly get more attention over other conflict materials that may even be causing more of a problem now (gold, tin, tungsten, and coltan mined in the DRC) probably because of the the fact that “diamonds are a girls best friend” and the Oscar nominated movie.

Blah, it’s such a complex issue to try and get my head around. And it doesn’t help that there are so many heavily biased reports masquerading as fact from both sides.

Post # 45
Member
33 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I was also very deeply affected by the movie blood diamond. i have told my boyfriend that i want a moissanite ring – not only because of the blood diamond issue, but also b/c i don’t agree with the de beers monopoly, the way diamonds are sold, and how artificial the market/prices are (that’s a whole other can of worms that i won’t even get into right now :P)

i had already firmly made up my mind about this, but then my convictions were solidified last week, when i saw a documentary, also called “blood diamond” on the history channel. WOW. FYI, KellyV: you said that movies tend to over-dramatize things????? blood diamond the movie was a RATED-G version of what has REALLY gone on. 

the diamond trade has funded wars in africa (they provided the majority of funding for the RUF, aka the most violent and horrific militant group in africa. watch hotel rowanda too…..), and the documentary VIVIDLY and very graphically shows the direct effect the diamond industry has had.  it is absolutely disgusting, and the thought of having ANY diamond from africa, where we have NO idea really where it came from makes me want to vomit – that is how disturbing the documentary is.  i mean it when i say the film was SO tame compared to the reality ๐Ÿ™ 

Yes, we do have the kimberly process now, which basically requires that diamonds are packaged by governments in these special tamper proof boxes before being shipped to antwerp…………..but the bottom line is that many of these governments are STILL buying diamonds from gangs, and then passing them off and packaging them up as legit stones.  bottom line: despite “regulation,” buyer beware.  imho, brilliant earth diamonds (aka canadian diamonds) or another gem stone like moissanite or sapphire (which is actually the “traditional” engagement ring stone, back before diamonds became all the rage!) are the only way to go.  (also…..someone mentioned not knowing if their heirloom ring was “conflict free” – considering that all this extreme violence really only emerged in the 80’s and 90’s, anything from before them is PROBABLY “conflict free”)

 

sorry for the long post. can you tell i’m super passionate about this?? ๐Ÿ˜‰ lol

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